At Close Range (1986)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  18 April 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 10,273 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 32 critic

In 1978 rural Pennsylvania an absentee father is reacquainted with his estranged teenage sons and they become intrigued with romanticized life of crime.



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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy (as Christopher Penn)
Tony Pine
J.C. Quinn ...
Mary Sue
Jake Dengel ...


Based upon the true story of Bruce Johnston Sr., his son, and his brothers; together, they constituted one of suburban Philadelphia's most notorious crime families during the 1970's. Their criminal activities ranged from burglary, theft... and ultimately, murder. Written by LizFL

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Yesterday, Brad was nobody. Today, he's front-page news. See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf kurze Distanz  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,500,000 (estimated)


$2,347,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Screenwriter Nicholas Kazan originally wrote in the script a scene in which after Brad Sr. and Brad Jr. "do laundry", Brad Sr. takes little Brad to a whorehouse. The scene was not filmed due to "reasons beyond his control". See more »


When Brad Sr is being walked into the courthouse after being arrested, the building behind him is the Williamson County Bank located in Franklin, Tennessee not in Pennsylvania where the events took place. See more »


Brad Whitewood Sr.: I just bought this car. It's cherry. Will you give me $4600 for her?
See more »


Boogie Oogie Oogie
Written by Janice Marie Johnson (as Janis Johnson) and Perry Kibble (as Perry L. Kibble)
Performed by A Taste of Honey
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

Overlooked gem
13 December 2001 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie when it first came out, and it's remained one of the most memorable films I have seen since. Sean Penn & Christopher Walken especially produce very powerful, realistic performances. Walken's evil father is a spot-on echo of a relative of mine - right down to the mustache & body language. <shudder> Sometimes, though, Walken's low-class accent is so thick I couldn't make out just what he's saying.

The dialogue is just subtle enough to feel realistic. Although the movie moves along at a slow, deliberate pace, the plot still feels nice & tight. And the cinematography is stylish. An instrumental version of the song Live to Tell, that Madonna turned into a hit, is actually used as the main theme running under almost every scene. It's not often that a pop song associated with a film is actually used in the film itself - usually it's just tacked on at the closing credits. But it was used to great atmospheric effect here.

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